Results tagged ‘ Ticket Sales ’
I have been a Yankee fan since about 1980, at 9 years old and that point where most passionate baseball fans begin their lifetime love affair with the game. I can tell you how gut-wrenching it felt to watch Willie Randolph take a called strike three from Royals closer Dan Quisenberry to close out the 1980 ALCS (I still say it was low and outside!) or how I went to my room and cried after watching Bob Watson fly out to the Dodger’s Ken Landreux to record the final out in a losing world series effort the following year.
I’ve always been a Yankees fan and I can honestly say that the “open the check book” option for the Yankees is annoying and a pain to defend. Haters will always hate the Yankees. I generally accept it. The following is something that you might find interesting. People tend to attack the Yankees a lot for financial reasons, but sometimes it is important to sit back and research how these financial “means” came about. Check out the below progression. You might have a new found respect for George Steinbrenner business savy.
1972: CBS presently own the Yankees and is about to declare Chapter 14 bankruptcy (the Yankees were that bad off) until Shipping Mogul George Steinbrenner buys the team for $10 million dollars.
1977: Team worth becomes $20 million after the WS win.
1982: Team worth becomes $40 million after WS appearance
1987: Team worth becomes $80 million after Mattingly and Winfield lure the NY press in to Yankee Stadium.
1992: Team worth becomes $160 million after Steinbrenner comes to terms with MSG network to show Yankee games abandoing WPIX 11 in NY. WPIX relegated to afternoon games including Saturday and Sundays.
1997: Team worth becomes 320 million after 1996 World Series
2001: Team, worth becomes 640 million coming off the profits of the YES Network created in 2000 (YES= Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. NJ Nets and NJ Devils games shown solely on this network at that time. $$$$$)
2006: Team worth becomes 1.2 billion after several playoff appearance and TV Network deal with NJ Comcast cable to share the rights to the YES network.
2009: Forbes magazine values the Yankees organization at 1.5 billion dollars effective March 2009.
Now it seems to me, in this day and age where people decry anything and everything that restricts free enterprise that people should applaud this organization for what it truly is. The embodiment of our nation’s greatest attributes.
Really, can you think of anything in baseball with more storylines? Anything that would cause more debates or grandstanding press conferences?
It’d be a blogger’s dream and covering the saga and answering its myriad questions would probably require its own blog. Where would the team play? Would it be a transplanted franchise or an expansion outfit? What would its stadium look like? Who would pay for it? Who would become fans of this new team? What would it be called? What would the uniforms look like?
Oh yeah, how would the Yankees and Mets respond?
I bring all of this up because Tim Marchman of Sports Illustrated broached the subject in his latest column and suggests that adding a third team could be a market-robbing method of reigning in the Yankees and their spending.
“(Adding a third team) would bring the town’s population:team ratio down to the level of Los Angeles or Philadelphia, and with the same number of people and dollars chasing more baseball, would quite likely bring Yankee spending down a hair without doing anything punitive or unfair.”
Marchman, of course, notes that baseball’s territorial rights rules would provide a major roadblock and he’s right. If Baltimore’s Peter Angelos can hold off baseball’s return to Washington for over a decade, could you imagine what the Steinbrenners could do with the power of baseball’s flagship franchise? Still, Craig Calcaterra notes that the owners themselves could nix the territory rules themselves, which would be an easier route than instituting a salary cap, which would involve a bigger collective bargaining fight.
The takes of both writers summon warm points of speculation for a cold winter week, but I have to say that I find faults with each viewpoint.
When it comes to Marchman’s fracturing of New York, the Mets would be at much more risk of losing market share than the Yankees, who have built a luxury brand that many people equate with status. I suppose there’s a point to be made about the Yankees pricing many fans out of their new stadium, but to borrow a page from noted thinker Kanye West, never underestimate the power of people who can’t afford a car but name their daughter Alexis.
(In other words, there are plenty of people who will still watch on TV and buy jerseys, t-shirts and hats, even if they have no designs on stepping inside the new Yankee Stadium. Here’s betting the third team would be more of a landing spot for disgruntled Mets fans.)
As for Calcaterra’s thinking that owners approving a third team would be a relatively lesser path of resistance, I’m not exactly sure that I agree. There seems to be a code of honor among baseball’s owners and I’m sure that not screwing with your neighbor’s golden goose is among that code’s top guidelines. A few of the cash-strapped owners would probably love to get their hands on their share of a big franchise fee, but I don’t think there would be enough votes to sell out a few of their own. Those rich folks stick together.
In a recent post I hinted at a future piece concerning parity levels among all major professional sports. Well here she is.
Recently, I read an article at ESPN.com by Buster Olney. In the article, Buster Olney mentioned the parity that exists in major league baseball. Of course, this brought out the NFL fans that raved about how the NFL was more fair and they had more parity. And the NFL doesn’t have the Yankees and Red Sox winning everything. Which professional sports league really has the most parity?
First we have to come up with a good way to figure this out. In his article Buster Olney mentioned the number of different teams that have made the World Series. The NFL fans countered with playoff appearances. Playoffs aren’t going to cut it though. The NFL has 12 playoff spots, Major League Baseball has 8 and the NBA and NHL have 16.
There is no fair way to decide parity by playoff appearances, especially when each league also has a different amount of teams.
The only way to decide this is by winning seasons. Let’s take the last nine seasons and see how many teams in each sport has had more winning seasons than losing seasons. In other words how many teams in each sport has finished with a winning record at least five times in the last nine seasons.
(Note: In the NHL if a team has 9 wins, 8 losses and 1 over time loss then they are considered a team with a winning record. But that overtime losses doesn’t count stuff is nonsense. I’m treating a 9 – 8 – 1 team like a 9 – 9 team.
Major League Baseball
9 winning seasons – Red Sox, Yankees
8 winning seasons – Cardinals, Dodgers
7 winning seasons – A’s, Angels, Astros, Braves, Phillies, Twins, White Sox
6 winning seasons – Diamondbacks, Mets
5 winning seasons – Blue Jays, Cubs, Giants, Mariners
Total – 17
National Basketball Association
9 winning seasons – Spurs, Mavericks
8 winning seasons – Lakers, Pistons
7 winning seasons – Jazz, Rockets, Suns
6 winning seasons – Heat, Kings, Nuggets
5 winning seasons – Cavs, Nets, Timberwolves
Total – 13
National Football League
8 winning seasons – Colts, Patriots
7 winning seasons – Broncos, Eagles, Steelers
6 winning seasons – Buccaneers, Jets, Packers, Ravens, Seahawks
5 winning seasons – Cowboys, Giants, Titans
Total – 13
National Hockey League
9 winning seasons – Avalanche, Devils, Red Wings, Senators, Stars
8 winning seasons – Flyers
5 winning seasons – Ducks
Total – 13
As I said before, each league has a different amount of teams. The NFL has 32 teams meaning that the 13 teams that have more winning seasons than losing seasons is only 40 percent. The NBA and NHL each have 13 teams with more winning seasons than losing seasons but only 30 total teams, making it 43 percent for them. Major League Baseball on the other hand has 30 teams and 17 have more winning seasons than losing seasons, for a percentage of 57 percent.
There you have it. A greater diversity of participants in the championship game/series AND a much, much higher percentage of teams enjoying winning seasons. All of this while NOT having an inordinate amount of teams at the “top end” of the spectrum.
If you were to see 4 or 5 or 6 teams sitting along side the Yankees & Red Sox with 9 winning seasons you might be able to make an argument that it feeds the belief that things are too top heavy in baseball. But that clearly isn’t the case.